Pitt vs UCI

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nbwaterman

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Hey everyone, stuck in an internal war between these two schools. I’m a SoCal resident so UCI is close to home, but I’m getting pushback on wanting to go to Pitt. I am interested in pursuing a surgical subspecialty, and have made the argument that “Pitt matches well nationwide” but my family is looking at match lists and sees that there is a paucity of West Coast matches.

On the other hand, UCI has no public match lists, but I believe they match primarily in west coast and adjacent states. I only know that UCI this past year matched at stanford, arizona, and utah for ortho and my family is saying that is better than the past 4 years of Pitt matches for ortho, which have been in the midwest and northeast.

Even within the UC system, UCI and Pitt seem to have similar numbers of matches into surgical subs (with UCI having the edge bc of home program matches), so my family is saying there’s no point of going so far.

I want to chase my dreams and go to the best med school, with the goal of coming back home. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Sorry for the super long post but I am SO tired of arguing with my family over this.

Edit: COA same for both schools, and I am okay being away from my family, but my family isn’t necessarily okay with me being away lol

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I’d go with Pitt if I were you. You sound more excited to go to Pitt and if your goal is to go to “the best medical school possible”, it’s the clear winner since COA is the same for both schools anyways. I know that the situation with your family is tough, but at the end of the day, this is your life and you are the one going to medical school. You have to make the best decision for you. With Pitt being a T15 I don’t see why you would have any difficulties matching back on the west coast given your strong family ties! I’m sure the Midwest and NE heavy match list at Pitt is more of a product of student preference more than anything else.
 
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There comes a time in everyone's career where you gotta do what's best for you. It seems like Pitt is gonna make u happiest and fulfill you the most. You'll be back eventually to California and the match list may be just where those interested in ortho wanted to go.

Also this is the first time I've seen paucity used lol. I see why you got into Pitt!
 
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Have you talked to students from both schools? That might help you gain insight as to what the student experience is like, possibly more match info since UCI doesn’t make those lists public, and what opportunities students are a part of to see if those things influence your decision. Based on your post, I think you’re leaning towards Pitt and the only thing holding you back seems to be family. In terms of matching in California for residency, I’m sure that’s totally possible from Pitt. Go with the choice that makes you feel at ease!

Edit: disclaimer - did not apply to Pitt or UCI
 
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I honestly do not think you can go wrong with either choice. These are both great schools! Congratulations on your acceptances! If you want more comfort and security, I would go with UCI. Students are matching on the west coast consistently. While Pitt has great matches nationwide, would you be willing to take the chance of not matching on the west coast? Surgery is also a super hard specialty to match into. For me personally, I would go with the more secure option, but of course, the choice is yours. :)
Are you on the Pitt waitlist? Seen you go on 4 Pitt X or Y posts and if so you should have a disclaimer for being on their waitlist.
 
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UCI. I went to WashU with a bunch of unhappy Californians who matched in the Midwest in ENT ortho, plastics, NS, ophtho, etc. It took me 12 years to get back to CA. I loved St. Louis and the med school gave me more $ so it was worth it but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it would have been better for me and my family to be closer to home for those twelve years if the money were the same.

If you’re doing general surgery it doesn’t matter but be ready to spend more time in the east or Midwest than you think if you want a competitive residency.

If you’re set on Pitt get your California away rotations set up now for fourth year.
 
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OOOPS HAHA thanks so much!! Do you have any insight you wanna add?? no pressure ;)
Honestly I am biased towards SoCal so I would say UCI! Pitt may have the prestige factor but from your match observations UCI is a powerhouse as well. Matching back to Cali might be pretty similar with both schools with regional preference if you attend UCI. You can't go wrong with any school and the weather/ community in SoCal is unmatched haha.
 
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UCI. I went to WashU with a bunch of unhappy Californians who matched in the Midwest in ENT ortho, plastics, NS, ophtho, etc. It took me 12 years to get back to CA. I loved St. Louis and the med school gave me more $ so it was worth it but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it would have been better for me and my family to be closer to home for those twelve years if the money were the same.

If you’re doing general surgery it doesn’t matter but be ready to spend more time in the east or Midwest than you think if you want a competitive residency.

If you’re set on Pitt get your California away rotations set up now for fourth year.
So you ranked CA programs at the very top and did away rotations in CA, and still didn’t match there?

And what do you mean by getting my away rotations set up NOW for 4th year 😭😭 thanks in advance
 
Yes and Yes. Could have been more selective about away rotations and done more of them in CA.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic but I'm saying you need to start networking ASAP if you want back to CA for residency
 
Hey everyone, stuck in an internal war between these two schools. I’m a SoCal resident so UCI is close to home, but I’m getting pushback on wanting to go to Pitt. I am interested in pursuing a surgical subspecialty, and have made the argument that “Pitt matches well nationwide” but my family is looking at match lists and sees that there is a paucity of West Coast matches.

On the other hand, UCI has no public match lists, but I believe they match primarily in west coast and adjacent states. I only know that UCI this past year matched at stanford, arizona, and utah for ortho and my family is saying that is better than the past 4 years of Pitt matches for ortho, which have been in the midwest and northeast.

Even within the UC system, UCI and Pitt seem to have similar numbers of matches into surgical subs (with UCI having the edge bc of home program matches), so my family is saying there’s no point of going so far.

I want to chase my dreams and go to the best med school, with the goal of coming back home. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Sorry for the super long post but I am SO tired of arguing with my family over this.

Edit: COA same for both schools, and I am okay being away from my family, but my family isn’t necessarily okay with me being away lol
Stay in CA. Agree with previous commenters that it will be difficult to match back in CA. It’s very common to match regionally, despite away rotations, especially when you’re trying to go to a popular place like CA.

Also, Pitt can be very malignant in some of their residency programs. They cover way too many hospitals and residents are spread so thin that your work hours are hell compared to other programs. (Lying on hours is encouraged.) I can’t speak to the med school side of things, but I’d advise against matching there for residency. Even if you were a Pitt grad and didn’t rank them highly in the match, you’ll probably end up at an east coast program.

ETA: just re-read your post and I’m thinking you’re leaning towards ortho? Pitt ortho is DEFINITELY malignant. I have a friend who just left mid-residency. Stay away.
 
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Stay in CA. Agree with previous commenters that it will be difficult to match back in CA. It’s very common to match regionally, despite away rotations, especially when you’re trying to go to a popular place like CA.

Also, Pitt can be very malignant in some of their residency programs. They cover way too many hospitals and residents are spread so thin that your work hours are hell compared to other programs. (Lying on hours is encouraged.) I can’t speak to the med school side of things, but I’d advise against matching there for residency. Even if you were a Pitt grad and didn’t rank them highly in the match, you’ll probably end up at an east coast program.

ETA: just re-read your post and I’m thinking you’re leaning towards ortho? Pitt ortho is DEFINITELY malignant. I have a friend who just left mid-residency. Stay away.
Yes and Yes. Could have been more selective about away rotations and done more of them in CA.

I'm being a bit hyperbolic but I'm saying you need to start networking ASAP if you want back to CA for residency
It’s strange because I went through the resident pages on every single CA ortho program and found 1 UCI student who matched to Stanford this year, none other prior to that (looked @ PGY1-5). 1 current resident at UCSD (looked @ PGY1-5+ incoming class)

For UCI’s home ortho: 4/16 residents from the PGY1-3 + incoming class are from UCI SOM. 2/8 of the PGY4+5 are UCI SOM graduates.

Overall, it looks like 25% of the UCI ortho residents are from UCI SOM, and the remaining students are from a bunch of random places from all over the country. I don’t know how many people have applied ortho out of UCI SOM, but it seems quite inconsistent with how they match their people. One year it’s 2/4, another just 1/4.

And UCI SOM students don’t seem to have great luck in other CA programs either. There is 1 PGY5 at UCSF from Pitt, but 0 PGY1-5 (or incoming) from UCI. I mentioned 1 resident at UCSD who came from UCI SOM, but there is also 1 PGY3 from Pitt at UCSD.

Now let’s compare how many California applying applicants UCI SOM must have generated in the past 6 years. Probably a decent amount, I am willing to say on average 2-3 applicants for ortho per year (could be more). There is a very small number of Californians attending Pitt Med. In this incoming class alone, it seems to be about 4 students. Of those 4, how many do you think apply ortho over the years? Very few. Those who applied to CA programs were students who were trying to get back home (you can see their hometowns) and were able to.

On the flip side, it seems like the UCI students are almost forced to match out of state since they get pushed out by the Harvards, Yales, and other top applicants.

Sorry for the long, nerdy response, but let me know if this is the correct interpretation of what I’m seeing or if I’m missing something.
 
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You've got your equation set up right, but we're all just making up numbers for the denominator. There's so much we don't know. Congrats on your acceptances. Good luck.
 
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You've got your equation set up right, but we're all just making up numbers for the denominator. There's so much we don't know. Congrats on your acceptances. Good luck.
Thanks for your help jvquarterback!! Have a good one
 
Just here to say that pitt ortho definitely is not malignant. I've rotated on a lot of surgical services here and know quite a few residents here and at other programs of similar caliber. People love throwing that word around, kind of like "gunner," but it usually isn't the case.
 
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